Don't fall for these threatening scam voicemails trying to trick you out of thousands

Consumers continue to lose big bucks during the COVID-19 pandemic to various scams.

Since January of 2020, consumers reported losing more than $350 million to the Federal Trade Commission.

While the biggest losses relate to online shopping and vacation and travel scams during the pandemic, there is one specific tactic scammers use that that continues to leave ABC11 viewers asking if it's a scam.

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It starts with a call, a call that can be scary.

One voicemail an ABC11 viewer sent to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson stated, "This call is from your legal Attorney General's office."

The voicemail goes on to state, "If we don't hear from you, there will be an arrest warrant issued in your name."

No matter what scare tactic is used, don't fall for the imposter scam where scammers pretend to be with the IRS, local police department, court system, bank, or even the Social Security Administration.

One viewer got this voicemail and returned the call only to be scammed out of $2,000. The woman thought the call was legit and paid the scammers by reading off the numbers on $2,000 worth of gift cards she bought.
Besides gift cards, scammers may also demand payment by asking you to wire money to avoid arrest, which in reality is never happening. An ABC11 viewer who is a senior citizen lost $2,500 when she got a call over stimulus money.

The Troubleshooter Takeaways to remember are don't trust the caller ID as it can be faked. Also, be suspicious of any calls that demand payment and threaten arrest as government agencies do not do that.

Another tip is to never call the number left on the voicemail, if you think the call could be legit, instead look up the agency's number yourself. While the majority of these imposter scams come through the phone, you also need to be on guard for scam emails, text messages, and social media messages, as scammers will try and get your money any way they can reach you.

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